7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 30, 2008 7:14 PM by Jim_Simon

    Most effective Hard Disk setup

      I've ordered my CS4 Production Premium package to install it on my newly built Vista x64 U, using 8 gigs of RAM and the Quad Core 9550. I bought a couple extra hard disks today to use for the editing/compositing I will be doing. This is how it looks right now:

      C: Boot/Programs - 750 GB
      F: 750 GB
      G: 750 GB
      H: 750 GB

      Now i'm wondering how I should set these up for the best editing experience. I know Adobe recommends one for each type of asset but I don't have enough of 'em, so what I'm thinking of first and foremost is if I should RAID G and H in stripe array to increase speed or if it'll be more effective to put all video on G and audio on H. Keeping all project files and outputs on F. What do you think?

      Will be editing mostly AVCHD and DV.
        • 1. Re: Most effective Hard Disk setup
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          You really want to know? I may not be willing to tell.
          • 2. Re: Most effective Hard Disk setup
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
            My suggestion for CS3 would have been to put all your project files on the 3 750 GB drives in RAID 5, but my initial testing on CS4 has left me thoroughly confused. You can see my preliminary testing/conclusions on
            Premiere Pro PPBM3 .
            • 3. Re: Most effective Hard Disk setup
              Jim_Simon Level 8
              I'd add another, much smaller drive for the System drive and reinstall Windows on that. You don't need 750 GB for a System drive as ideally the only thing you will use it for is Windows and Programs. Nothing else of your editing should be on the C drive. (As an example, I use a 75 GB Raptor (10 times smaller than yours) and it's only about half full.

              Once that's done, I'd recommend the following;

              F: Projects
              G: Scratch
              H: Media
              I: Exports (This is the original System drive repurposed)

              You won't need a RAID for AVCHD or DV. The bitrates aren't nearly that taxing for modern drives.
              • 4. Re: Most effective Hard Disk setup
                Level 1
                That's a great suggestion, Jim =) I'm keeping among other things my iTunes library, photo albums, games and some movies on this computer as well so that's why the C: drive is large. Maybe I should invest in one more drive though. I think there's room for it...

                My brain is freezing on me now so I have to ask, what is the purpose of the "media" drive? I know of course it has a good one, I just can't remember what it is =P Brain tells me that the Scratch disk holds captured audio/video and previews (conformed files etc) so what's for the media drive?

                Thanks alot =)
                • 5. Re: Most effective Hard Disk setup
                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                  >I'm keeping among other things my iTunes library, photo albums, games and some movies on this computer as well

                  I'd recommend against that. Get another PC for other uses. Keep an editing rig as strictly an editing rig.

                  The Media drive is where 'captured' media goes. The Scratch disk is for rendered previews and such.
                  • 6. Re: Most effective Hard Disk setup
                    Level 1
                    Well that opinion of yours is a popular one indeed. How much difference does it really make for an editing computer though? I mean, it's just the disk were the program's at. Would be interesting to see a comparative test in some form.

                    Thanks for refreshing my brain =P

                    I had the idea now that I might use an eSata drive for music/photo/games. Maybe keep it in a little home server or similar, so that I can access it much the same way as now but whenever I wish to, I can disconnect it and have a "clean" editing rig. D'you think that would work better?
                    • 7. Re: Most effective Hard Disk setup
                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                      I think the applications that would access those media files are the real concern. The ideal is to only install the programs you need to do your editing.

                      That's the ideal. Not everyone can have an ideal system, though. In fact I'd venture to say that most people probably don't and they edit perfectly well.

                      I bring it up only because you seem to be asking what the best practice is. How close you want to get to that will be up to you.